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Re: Smolt RFC: File System Information



On Jan 30, 2008 10:36 PM, Eric Sandeen <sandeen redhat com> wrote:
> Yaakov Nemoy wrote:
> > Hey list,
> >
> > I'm looking to get some input on a feature that was requested of
> > Smolt.  One file system engineer wants to collect some basic data
> > about file systems in use, for fine tuning the default settings in
> > Fedora and RHEL.  This is something that we can all benefit by, and
> > the greater participation we give, the better the results are going to
> > be for everyone.  To hilight the information to be collected, actions
> > speak louder than words:
> >
> > yankee dao:~$ sudo stat -f /dev/main/fedora8
> >   File: "/dev/main/fedora8"
> >     ID: 0        Namelen: 255     Type: tmpfs
> > Block size: 4096       Fundamental block size: 4096
> > Blocks: Total: 258215     Free: 258199     Available: 258199
> > Inodes: Total: 223935     Free: 222932
> >
> > (Actually I think something might be broken, that data doesn't look
> > correct for me)
>
> I think you sorted it out, but: stat the mountpoint not the dev... :)
>
> > In short, it will collect a list of file systems + types, and their usage stats.
> >
> > For the time being the stats won't be published on the web site.
> > We're having some reporting issues, and I don't want to add another
> > long running SQL query into the mix.  However, anyone will be free to
> > ask one of us to report on that information. Furthermore, this
> > information will be enabled by default, for the time being, until we
> > have thing set up to allow fine grained information hiding.  Remember,
> > all profiles will be anonymous as usual.
> >
> > Are there any underlying security or privacy issues here that would be
> > a clear reason not to do this?  Any other comments, or refinements?
>
> The only thing I can think of is that while you'd like to report any
> filesystems in use (so as not to pre-select what you're interested in,
> and potentially filter out, say, a large unknown community of befs
> users...) you run the risk of possibly reporting a "secret" filesystem
> name; for example if suddenly 500 HP machines start reporting that "zfs"
> is in use, it might make you go "hmmm...." - but, I assume that other
> things reported by smolt after grepping around the bios run similar
> risks, and you're not worried about sending out those strings?

That's of no consequence, because any report we would publish
publically would never link the hardware to the software to the file
system.  All there would be is a count of 500 people using ZFS with
certain settings, with absolutely no indication of who they are.
Furthermore, unless you get a link to a profile, you have no way of
ascertaining that link.

If you share a profile link, then you lose anonymity anyways.  I can't
protect the privacy of people who don't want it ;)

-Yaakov


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